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<p>How will I know when I'm in labor?</p>
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<p>My water broke with my first and I didn't get contractions for an hour. After a small cascade of typical hospital stuff I ended up so drugged up I don't remember much of labor. (I was given a Phenergen and Stadol cocktail) Basically, I passed out between contractions and would "come to" when I hit the peak, yes I ended up with an epidural.</p>
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<p>The drugs combined with lack of sleep (water broke at midnight and I'd been awake since 7am) means I don't remember much of anything for the labor...</p>
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<p>Anyway, I'm 36.5 weeks and I've been having pretty constant BH for the past 30mins or so...I'm also a bit sick (I was exposed to bronchitis this weekend) I don't know if the coughing is causing the extra BH or if it's just where I am in my pregnancy.</p>
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<p>Thoughts?</p>
 

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<p>Think of it like this: being in labor is like having an orgasm.  When it's really happening, you will be absolutely sure!!</p>
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<p>For me, "real" labor wasn't the braxton hicks.  It started with really mild, period like cramps.  Instead of involving my whole uterus, or mainly the front of my uterus (like the BH's), the sensations began much more mildly, and were clearly in my pelvis.  Again, similar to period cramps, or the feeling you get when you've eaten something funny and can tell that you'll probably have intestinal distress soon.  These feelings happened at regular intervals, and eventually got stronger and stronger.  In the beginning, I wasn't sure that the sensations were "it."  But within a few hours... well, like an orgasm, I was positive!</p>
 

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When the contractions start hurting and getting stronger. BH usually feel like a tightening, just uncomfortable, but not painful necessarily. At the beginning, you'll just feel kind of crampy but then things will get more than just crampy, like to the point where you can't do other things or talk through them.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>la mamita</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1287785/i-feel-dumb-asking-this#post_16143614"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
When the contractions start hurting and getting stronger. BH usually feel like a tightening, just uncomfortable, but not painful necessarily. At the beginning, you'll just feel kind of crampy but then things will get more than just crampy, like to the point where you can't do other things or talk through them.</div>
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<p>Yeah, I asked one of my MWs if my understanding of BH vs. the real thing was accurate. She replied, "Oh you'll know when it's the real thing... cuz it'll hurt."</p>
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<p>LOL, I love how blunt that lady is! Of course, the next sentence out of her mouth was, "You'll be fine though because you're doing the Bradley Method. I've seen women doing Bradley barely break a sweat before 8 cm." (Loved her confidence in me.)</p>
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<p>Anyway, I guess she was right. It did start to hurt. Not horribly, but after 1 hour of fairly regular ctrx, they got more intense.</p>
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<p>Yes, I've also read that once you can't do other things through ctrx & they require all your attention, that it's the real thing. of course I've ALSO read that Hypnobabies mamas are so calm through it all, they often have trouble making it to the hospital on time!</p>
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<p>Personally, I hired a doula & was really looking to her for help on when to go to the hospital - since I wanted to do the vast majority of laboring at home, I knew her expertise would help us make the call for when to leave.</p>
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<p>But I guess the question of 'when to leave for the hospital' is a different question from 'when am I really "in labor" anyway.</p>
 

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<p>Similar story here, my water broke, nothing for 12 hours, and then I did labor for 6 hours without intervention, but had a shot of Stadol at that point and don't remember much up to when I asked how long I had been pushing and they said 2 hours... It also wiped out my memory of unmedicated labor before unfortunately. I think this Stadol stuff is really, really bad.</p>
<p>Basically now I have had BHs, lots, even a tad crampy, but I do think I will be able to tell real contractions. My midwives want me to call as soon as it gets truly painful, but not wait so long until I cannot talk anymore (gotta drive 90-120 mins to the birthing center!). I too hope that it will be clear cause I'm not exactly sure what to look for, but in the end I think we will <em>know</em> when it's time...</p>
 

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<p>Well I'll be the dissenting voice and say that after really feeling some 'ow' contractions with my first before going in, with my second all I had were BH until I was past 7 cm - and once my membranes broke it was extremely fast. BUT I did go in at 4-5 cm, and the reason was that the BH were really, really regular - 2-3 min apart for several hours.</p>
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<p>I went in recently at 32 weeks because of abdominal cramping and lo and behold, I was in non-productive labour, which has since stopped.</p>
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<p>So I think the moral of the story is, chances are you'll know because something will be more serious. I'd also lost my mucus plug in both cases, and eventually had bloody show.</p>
 

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<p>Weeell, if the contractions are so "iffy" that you don't know for sure, does it matter? I mean, who cares if you're technically in labour or not? If you're planning to go to the birth centre or hospital, there's not much point in going until the contractions get painful (and possibly not for a while after that), assuming you're low-risk and all. If you're HBing, there's even less reason to care!</p>
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<p>The chances of you having an incredibly fast or painless birth are, sad to say, fairly slim. Even if you got there at 7 or 8 cm, so what? But if you're like most pregnant woman, you'll be very sure you're in labour way before then.</p>
 

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<p>generally if the cramps are regular, and get closer together they arent really braxton hicks, the majority of women in active labour cannot function during a contraction and turn their focus inward and put their energy into coping. For the vast majority you will know when it is contractions, but it does depend on the individual and varies from each birth.</p>
 
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